T. Boone Pickens, the architect of The Pickens Plan to achieve greater energy security in the U.S., released the following statement on the energy comments by Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama during last night's second presidential debate:
"After four long years of helping candidates and public officials understand the importance of energy as a domestic issue, an environmental issue and a national security issue, President Obama and Governor Romney finally gave us a spirited debate on their views on the subject.
"There will be dozens of so-called energy experts providing fact-checking on their respective comments. That will be a healthy debate in and of itself.
"President Obama had the first opportunity to go into detail and stressed the importance of American natural gas to reducing our reliance on imported oil. Mitt Romney also supported this approach and I thought he demonstrated a deeper understanding of energy by pointing out that replacing imported oil with domestic fuels would - and should - create a major positive contribution to our economy and create jobs. Another bright spot was his call for a North American Energy Alliance. That can be a critical element of a national energy strategy going forward.
"I like that President Obama highlighted the importance of developing renewable energy, but think he oversold what they will do to address the OPEC oil threat. Two-thirds of our oil use is tied to transportation, and wind and solar are power generation fuels. They won't move 18-wheelers. They are an important part of the future, but we need a bridge to get us there by reducing oil imports now.
"I am hopeful that as the candidates hit the campaign trail for the final three-week sprint they will continue to talk about energy - and especially our vast natural gas reserves that are the only fuel which can substitute for imported diesel to push our 8.5 million 18-wheelers.
"The final debate next Monday, October 22, will focus on foreign policy. I am hopeful the two candidates will connect the dots and reinforce for the American public how closely our foreign and military policies and presence are tied to our Middle East oil dependence. Once you get the 8.5 million trucks and fleet vehicles on domestic natural gas, you have an option to rethink your Middle East foreign policies.
"The good news is that both candidates highlighted the role that our expanding domestic crude oil and natural gas reserves can play in enhancing our energy security and moving us off OPEC oil. Now let's look for specific plans and solutions on how to get there.
"Remember, a plan without action isn't a plan, it's a speech."